Reflecting back on 2011 when I managed social media for Morton’s Restaurant Group, I was fortunate to connect with many of our guests. There was one instance that generated so much attention, Jack Dorsey named it one of the top 10 tweets of 2011. It was my response to Peter Shankman’s tweet, back in August when he was hankering for a steak. Peter is a loyal guest of Morton’s so when I saw his tweet: “Hey @Mortons – can you meet me at the Newark airport with a porterhouse when I land in two hours? K, thanks.” I jumped at the opportunity.
I researched flight information and prepared the restaurant team with how to find Peter at the airport when he landed. Peter was so happily surprised, he wrote the this blog post: “The Greatest Customer Service Story Ever Told, Starring Morton’s The Steakhouse.” The story caught on like wild fire and in addition to being covered by ABC Nightly News, Time.com, Huffington Post and it generated over 300 million impressions. Company-wide sales increased 17% in one week. We also received tremendous praise for its social media, including Scott Monty naming us one of the “5 companies that are rocking social media.”
My response to Peter Shankman’s tweet was one example of how responsiveness = return on investment. But how else are businesses listening to their customers?
Likeable Media co-founder and CEO, Dave Kerpen, shares an example in his book, Likeable Social Media. While waiting in line to check into the Aria Hotel in Vegas, he tweeted “No Vegas hotel could be worth this long wait. Over an hour to check in at the Aria.” Dave goes on to say that the Aria did not respond to his tweet but Rio hotel did take notice. Rio’s approach to Dave’s tweet was not to sell him on Rio, but to empathize by saying “Sorry about the bad experience, Dave. Hope the rest of your stay in Vegas goes well.” Guess where Dave ended up staying the next time he traveled to Vegas. Rio essentially earned $600 from that one tweet. And it doesn’t stop there… because Dave liked Rio on Facebook, a friend reached out to him for his opinion. His friend valued Dave’s endorsement and ended up booking a private event at Rio. All because of one tweet!
Responsiveness wins on social media. When done properly, businesses can gain referrals, recommendations and endorsements… that ultimately lead to sales. The flip side of this story is when businesses don’t respond (Aria Hotel). Businesses can’t afford not to ignore social media.
Have you had a business listen and respond to you? Or did you ever wish that your outreach on social media was heard?